Last week ABC News broke the deafening silence on reporting Barack Obama's ties to indicted fixer and political influence peddler Antoin “Tony” Rezko. The rare coverage was reported here on Newsbusters and repeated across the blogosphere as people on both sides of the political spectrum reacted. (I put together a montage of the scant television coverage here).
But all is back to normal now that the dust has cleared. Not only did most of the media gloss over this ever evolving story but nearly all of them took a pass on the Sun Times latest revelation that Barack Obama has surfaced as an "unnamed political candidate" in a federal indictment against Rezko on corruption charges.
The report by the Chicago Sun Times came out on Sunday January 20th, a convenient weekend report, despite the fact that the 78 page indictment is nearly a month old.
For the first time, Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama has surfaced in the federal corruption case against his longtime campaign fund-raiser, Tony Rezko, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
The Illinois senator isn’t accused of any wrongdoing. And there’s no evidence Obama knew contributions to his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign came from schemes Rezko is accused of orchestrating.
The allegations against Rezko that involve Obama are contained in one paragraph of a 78-page document filed last month in which prosecutors outline their corruption and fraud case against Rezko, who was also a key money man for Gov. Blagojevich and other politicians.
Rezko is set to go to trial Feb. 25. The revelation that Obama’s name could come up in court is a political headache he doesn’t need as he heads into a round of primaries that are likely to determine his party’s nomination for president.
Obama is not named in the Dec. 21 court document. But a source familiar with the case confirmed that Obama is the unnamed “political candidate” referred to in a section of the document that accuses Rezko of orchestrating a scheme in which a firm hired to handle state teacher pension investments first had to pay $250,000 in “sham” finder’s fees. From that money, $10,000 was donated to Obama’s successful run for the Senate in the name of a Rezko business associate, according to the court filing and the source.
Rezko, who was part of Obama’s senatorial finance committee, also is accused of directing “at least one other individual” to donate money to Obama and then reimbursing that individual — in possible violation of federal election law.
A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald declined to comment.
The left has been circling their protectionist wagons around Barack Obama for quite some time. Media Matters has gone out of its way to parse the minutiae of Obama's words, taking exception with nearly every report that makes it's way to the press.
But not everyone is playing along. John Kass of the Chicago Tribune has been especially critical of the media on this story.
Normally, politicians whining about media treatment can't be taken seriously. But today, President Clinton, though the earth may crack open and devour me, it appears you're absolutely correct:
The Clintons are indeed the victims of a Vast Left Wing [Media] Conspiracy.
Who knows why, exactly? As surveys have suggested, most reporters are Democrats, and many covering the campaign must be pouring their collective liberal guilt into the vessel that is Obama.
Either way, all this pro-Barack hope and change and excitement, all these delicious, Barack-inspired comparisons to the Kennedys and Camelot and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., it's all quite overwhelming, until you consider what's been cut out:
That Obama is only a few short years removed from taking orders in Springfield, in the Illinois State Senate, and you know how clean Illinois politics is.
So as we wait for Obama to transform our politics, let's hold our breath and see who turns purple first.
John Kass is exactly right. The MSM is committing sins of omission with respect to this story. Had this story been about any Republican candidate, let alone a Presidential contender, you can rest assured that the media would be sharing etched versions of talking points; ready at a whims notice to play up with the standard "culture of corruption" meme.
Yet somehow these "professionals" in the media have found a way to ignore Obama's deepening ties to the Chicago political machine. It doesn't matter if they do it out of liberal guilt, liberal bias or a true inability to uphold the motto to serve the truth. The mainstream medias' failure to do their jobs is a fact of life and Americans will simply have to look elsewhere for answers. But then again some things never change, in politics or in the press.
Terry Trippany is the editor and publisher of Webloggin.